Statements

Call to actions towards lasting peace

The Suffering of Yemeni Asylum Seekers in Transit Countries is Invisible

The Suffering of Yemeni Asylum Seekers in Transit Countries is Invisible

The Suffering of Yemeni Asylum Seekers in Transit Countries is Invisible

 

Women4Yemen, Yemen

27.08.2019

 

Research by

Wadha Abdo - Principal researcher - Head of the Refugees and Immigrants portfolio, Women4Yemen Network

The Suffering of Yemeni Asylum Seekers in Transit Countries is Invisible

 

Contributors

Kawkab al-Thaibani, Director, Women4Yemen Network - Review and editing

Jane Feeney - Proofreading and editing, Consultant, Women4Yemen Network

Dr.Boshra Sasaah – Translation and follow-up, Women4Yemen Network

 

Special thanks to:

Wojood Community to support Yemeni refugees in Egypt.

The Voluntary Committee for the Defense of Yemeni Refugees in Malaysia.

Attacks On Aden: A Gateway To New Conflict Phase

Attacks On Aden: A Gateway To New Conflict Phase

Attacks On Aden: A Gateway To New Conflict Phase

 

Women4Yemen, Yemen

08.07.2019

The Women4Yemen Network condemns the attack on Al-Jalaa refugee camp during a training demonstration. The attack was carried out by Al-Houthi group who fired a rocket and killed more than 30 people and wounded others. It was also reported that an Al-Qaeda terrorist group targeted a car bomb at the Sheikh Osman police station in Aden governorate, killing 13 people and injuring others. However, the group later denied this.

We condemn these crimes and believe that these events will have serious implications for efforts to achieve sustainable peace in Yemen and may lead to a further bloody phase of conflict. 

This attack by the Houthi group is a public violation of its commitment to the Stockholm Agreement and confidence-building measures. The Stockholm Convention represents an important step in the peace process, but the lack of condemnation and international and regional pressure on those that break the peace agreement is a reward for violence, which will have a serious negative impact on events in Yemen.

Following the Stockholm Agreement, the Houthi group has not stopped its expansionist plans and practices that threaten peace, such as continuing to bomb Taiz and Dhali, the recruitment of children, laying mines, heavily targeting women, female activists, journalists and civil society.

On the other hand, the governorate of Aden as an interim capital of Yemen suffers a weak state presence mainly because of the dominance of armed groups over state institutions, groups that are affiliated with the Transitional Council and supported by the United Arab Emirates, according to local and international reports.

These armed groups are carrying out a large number of violations in southern Yemen and their leaders are now carrying out campaigns of forced displacement of Yemeni citizens from the northern governorates to exploit the attack carried out by the Houthi group on the citizens of Aden, exploiting the horrific aftermath of the war waged by the Houthi group on the province of Aden after its takeover of Sanaa in 2014 and the southern grievance in the past.

These violations committed by these armed groups lead to the provocation of regional conflicts between the citizensof one nation and the disruption of the social fabric. 

In order to preserve Yemen's territorial integrity and the success of the peace efforts, Women4Yemen Network recommends:

  • Conduct an international investigation into the incidents that took place, and identify the perpetrator .the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen should continue include these implications in their agenda.
  • The international community and the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen should pressure the Houthi armed group to stop armed operations and their attempts at expansion, which has clearly increased after the Stockholm agreement, such as Hajour and Dhali and now their recognition of hitting a camp in Aden.
  • The international community and the countries supporting Yemen should pressure the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to abide by the objectives that it has come to support legitimacy, the restoration of the Yemeni territories and the unity of Yemen.
  • We call upon the Yemeni government to exercise its civilian and military functions to impose its control over liberated cities.
  • All violations against the citizens of the northern governorates in Aden should be monitored and investigated and the perpetrators of these violations should be brought to trial.
Women4Yemen Network Joins Efforts to Achieve Peace

Women4Yemen Network Joins Efforts to Achieve Peace

Women4Yemen Network Joins Efforts to Achieve Peace

 

Women4Yemen

26.07.2019

 

The Women4Yemen Network participated amongst other prominent feminist and women peace activist groups in a workshop held between 23 and 25 of July.

The workshop was entitled 'Women's views on the peace agreement and the transitional period in Yemen'.

The meeting aimed to identify priorities from the perspective of women working for peace and to find common ground for the framework of peace in the coming period.

This workshop was organized by CMI and the DeepRoot Consultancy, funded by the European Union.

This workshop is the second meeting and it was held for the first time in Egypt in April where the female participants came with a set of recommendations.

 

Women4Yemen Network’s Paper on the Status of Women’s Rights in Yemen During a Side Event in Human Rights Council

Women4Yemen Network’s Paper on the Status of Women’s Rights in Yemen During a Side Event in Human Rights Council

Women4Yemen Network’s Paper on the Status of Women’s Rights in Yemen During a Side Event in Human Rights Council

 

Women4Yemen, Yemen

04.07.2019

 

Ladies and Gentlemen


I represent today Women4Yemen Network where we believe Yemeni women need a strong movement similar to #MeToo to break the silence and support women working for peace.

The major prevailing threats are currently:

1. Illegal detainment of women and false prostitution charges:


The Women’s Solidarity Network reported that the Houthi group routinely accuse women of prostitution and have detained 100 women, including juveniles, and were subsequently tortured and sexually assaulted. Women4Yemen Network confirmed 20 cases but social stigma against women prisoners makes it difficult to reach the remaining.


2. Torture in prison and denial of a fair trial:

Women detained know that they will neither receive proper treatment, nor a fair trial, worsened by social stigma, and media blackout. The only woman who spoke out against this was Asma Al-Omeisi, a woman on a death row, which Women4Yemen Network, provided legal aid. She was tortured, deprived from legal rights, and fair trail. This is reflected on the case of Al-Omeisi, a woman on a death row, to whom our network provided legal aid. During her most recent hearing, she was ill and fainted in the court room.


3. Restriction on women-led efforts for peace:

Houthi militias forced women-led organizations to delete the word peace from their interventions threatening them to shut down their organizations, and, if they failed to do so, to detain their leaders as they did to peace activist Awfaa Al-Naami.

4. Restricted mobility:

Women are required to be escorted by men when they travel, which is demanded by both conflict parties. At check points, they face humiliation, sexual harassment and immoral searches and sometimes even get murdered.

5. Denial of assembly rights:

Women peaceful protesters who call for releasing their relatives, or improving the economic situation face detention and oppression by the Houthi group and security forces and armed groups affiliated with the Saudi and UAE coalition.

6. Engendering violence:

Houthis designed a security agency and using women “thugs” called "Zainaibiyat," to attack and detain women protestors or opponents.

7. Character assassination and widespread defamation campaigns:

The illegal detainment is usually accompanied by a massive defamation campaign by the Houthis which uses their media to attack women activists either by attacking their honor, by labeling them as spies, or making videos of forced confession statements of women detainees to blackmail them and their families. In Yemen, those women are disowned by their families and some of them attempt suicide.

Challenges:


1. Crushed civil space, and information and media blackout.
2. Social stigma surrounding women’s detainment where women are disowned by their families and lose the social respect of the society, even if the allegations are false.

Consequences:


1. This will silence women and all Houthi opponents from advancing the peace process and promoting democratic values.
2. Deterioration of gender equality as many women will be discouraged to enroll in political and peace efforts.
3. Sustainable peace will not be achieved as long as women peace activists and women-led organizations are highly restricted.
4. Not only women activists will be affected, these violations create a state of terror for all citizens that will affect the civil movement in Yemen.
5. The hardly fought rights of women will be reversed if these violations continue.

Recommendations:


-UN Human Rights Council should make Yemeni women's rights a priority to break the state of terror and work to provide protection and justice to women activists, especially those working for peace.
-Houthi group should enable human rights organizations and human rights observers to meet the women prisoners and stop the defamation campaigns.
- Inclusion of women in all phases of peace talks.
-Strong promotion, support and protection of women’s rights and women-led grassroot organizations from all parties and entities including the right to organize and participate in all decision making.
- Fair trials for women and a justice and prison system free from gender-based violence.
- Ban of all forms of violations of women's human rights, violence against women and harassment in the juridical system in Yemen.
- Free movement of women in the public space.

The below advisors and references have been consulted in the writing of this paper:


1. Eshraq Al-Maqtari : A lawyer and a member of the High Commissioner to the National Commission of Inquiry
2. Huda Al-Sarari: An award winning Human Rights Defender, head of Defense Foundation for Human Rights
3. Afrah Al-Zobah: A political activist and former member of the National Dialogue Conference
4. Amat al-Salam al-Haj: Head of The Associations of the Detainees’ Mothers

References:


1. al-Aghbari, S. (2018, 11 22). تجسس واقتحام المنازل وفض الاحتجاجات.. قوات «الباسيج» الحوثية أياد ناعمة في مهمات قذرة [Spying, house raining, dispersing protests...the Houthi "Basij" is soft hands carrying dirty missions]. Retrieved from Almasdar online news website: http://almasdaronline.com/articles/161282

2. al-Dhabyani, M. (2017). السلالي مدير إذاعة سام الحوثية يدعو لقتل أنصار المؤتمر الشعبي رجال ونساء ويصفهم بالكفار [Racialist head of the Houth- radio calls for killing GPC's followers; men and women and call them disbelievers. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yObBNAb3KBc

3. Amnesty. (2018). Yemen: Huthi court sentences three to death after enforced disappearance and alleged torture. Amnesty .

4. Jarhum, R. (2017). لم يعد استبعاد النساء من المشاركة في عمليات السالم خياراً [Exclusion of women from peace talks is no longer an option]. مشاركة النساء في السلم، الأمن والعمليات االنتقالية [Women participation in peace, security, and transitional processes] مؤسسة فريدريش إيبرت ومساواة.

5. SAM Organization for Human Rights. (2019). ماذا بقي لنا؟[What has been left for us?].

6. The High Commissioner to the National Commission of Inquiry. (2019). Report of the work and results of the hearing sessions of women victims of human rights violation during the armed conflict. The High Commissioner to the National Commission of Inquiry.

7. Women Solidarity Network. (2019). بيان إدانة لما تتعرض له النساء والفتيات من اعتقالات تعسفية في المناطق الخاضعة لسيطرة جماعة الحوثي [Condemndation letter to what women and girls are subjected in the Houthi-controlled areas]. Women Solidarity Network.

8. Women4Yemen Network . (2018). Arbitrary arrest and detention of Yemeni Women jeopardizes gender equality and peace; threatens Stockholm Agreement. Women4Yemen Network .

9. Women4Yemen Network. (2019). WFP decision to halt aid is an indicator of a larger problem of crushed civil space, affecting the lives of millions of Yemenis and threatening opportunities for sustainable peace . Women4Yemen Network.

Women4Yemen Network
July 4th, 2019


Women4Yemen Network is a group of women activists in media, human rights, civil society and academia. We work towards achieving sustainable peace, security and stabilization by empowering, advocating for and mobilizing women in Yemen.
www.women4Yemen.org
Facebook: Women4Yemen
Twitter: @Women4Yemen
YouTube: Women4Yemen
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Statement of Women4Yemen Network on the Status of Women’s Rights in Yemen in Human Rights Council

Statement of Women4Yemen Network on the Status of Women’s Rights in Yemen in Human Rights Council

Statement of Women4Yemen Network on the Status of Women’s Rights in Yemen in Human Rights Council

 

Women4Yemen, Yemen

04.07.2019

 

Mr. Vice President

We are here today to inform you Yemeni women need a strong movement similar to #MeToo to break the silence and support women working for peace.

The major prevailing threats are currently:

1. False prostitution charges designed to scare women activists:

The Women’s Solidarity Network reported that the Houthi group routinely accuse women of prostitution and have detained 100 women, including juveniles, and were subsequently tortured and sexually assaulted.
Women4Yemen Network confirmed 20 cases but social stigma against women prisoners makes it difficult to reach the remaining.

2. Torture in prison and denial of a fair trail:

Women detained know that they will neither receive proper treatment, nor a fair trial, worsened by social stigma, and media blackout.

3. Restriction on women-led efforts for peace:

Houthi groups forced women-led organizations to prohibit the word ‘peace’ and make it difficult to work in peace building interventions, threatening them to shut down their organizations. If they continue, they face retaliation. The detention of peace activist Awfaa Al-Naami is one example.

4. Restricted mobility:

While many women have lost their male relatives or are widows, both conflict parties demand women to be escorted by men to travel. At check points, they face humiliation, sexual harassment and immoral searches and sometimes even get murdered.

5. Engendering violence:

Houthis designed a security agency and using women “thugs” called "Zainaibiyat," to attack and detain women protestors or opponents.

6. Denial of assembly rights by all conflict parties:

Women peaceful protesters and activists who call for releasing their relatives, or improving the economic situation face detention and oppression by the Houthi group and security forces and armed groups affiliated with the Saudi and UAE coalition.

7. Character assassination and widespread defamation campaigns by all conflict parties.

8. Systematic enhancement of negative gender norms and increasing restrictions on women’s activism.

 

Recommendations:

-UN Human Rights Council should make Yemeni women's rights a priority to break the state of terror and work to provide protection and justice to women activists, especially those working for peace.

The below advisors and references have been consulted in the writing of this paper:

1. Eshraq Al-Maqtari : A lawyer and a member of the High Commissioner to the National Commission of Inquiry
2. Huda Al-Sarari: An award-winning human rights defender, Director of Defense Foundation for Human Rights.
3. Afrah Al-Zobah: A political activist and former member of the National Dialogue Conference.
4. Amat al-Salam al-Haj: Head of the Mothers of Abductees Association.

References:

1. al-Aghbari, S. (2018, 11 22). تجسس واقتحام المنازل وفض الاحتجاجات.. قوات «الباسيج» الحوثية أياد ناعمة في مهمات قذرة [Spying, house raining, dispersing protests...the Houthi "Basij" is soft hands carrying dirty missions]. Retrieved from Almasdar online news website: http://almasdaronline.com/articles/161282

2. al-Dhabyani, M. (2017). السلالي مدير إذاعة سام الحوثية يدعو لقتل أنصار المؤتمر الشعبي رجال ونساء ويصفهم بالكفار [Racialist head of the Houth- radio calls for killing GPC's followers; men and women and call them disbelievers. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yObBNAb3KBc

3. Amnesty. (2018). Yemen: Huthi court sentences three to death after enforced disappearance and alleged torture. Amnesty .

4. Jarhum, R. (2017). لم يعد استبعاد النساء من المشاركة في عمليات السالم خياراً [Exclusion of women from peace talks is no longer an option]. مشاركة النساء في السلم، الأمن والعمليات االنتقالية [Women participation in peace, security, and transitional processes] (p. 302). مؤسسة فريدريش إيبرت ومساواة.

5. SAM Organization for Human Rights. (2019). ماذا بقي لنا؟[What has been left for us?].

6. The High Commissioner to the National Commission of Inquiry. (2019). Report of the work and results of the hearing sessions of women victims of human rights violation during the armed conflict. The High Commissioner to the National Commission of Inquiry.

7. Women Solidarity Network. (2019). بيان إدانة لما تتعرض له النساء والفتيات من اعتقالات تعسفية في المناطق الخاضعة لسيطرة جماعة الحوثي [Condemndation letter to what women and girls are subjected in the Houthi-controlled areas]. Women Solidarity Network.

8. Women4Yemen Network . (2018). Arbitrary arrest and detention of Yemeni Women jeopardizes gender equality and peace; threatens Stockholm Agreement. Women4Yemen Network.

9. Women4Yemen Network. (2019). WFP decision to halt aid is an indicator of a larger problem of crushed civil space, affecting the lives of millions of Yemenis and threatening opportunities for sustainable peace . Women4Yemen Network.


Women4Yemen Network
July 4th, 2019

Women4Yemen Network is a group of women activists in media, human rights, civil society and academia. We work towards achieving sustainable peace, security and stabilization by empowering, advocating for and mobilizing women in Yemen.
www.women4Yemen.org
Facebook: Women4Yemen
Twitter: @Women4Yemen
YouTube: Women4Yemen
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

WFP decision to halt aid is an indicator of a larger problem of crushed civil space, affecting the lives of millions of Yemenis and threatening opportunities for sustainable peace

WFP decision to halt aid is an indicator of a larger problem of crushed civil space, affecting the lives of millions of Yemenis and threatening opportunities for sustainable peace

WFP decision to halt aid is an indicator of a larger problem of crushed civil space, affecting the lives of millions of Yemenis and threatening opportunities for sustainable peace

 

Women4Yemen, Yemen

25.05.2019

 

Herve Verhoosel, the senior spokesperson of the World Food Programme (WFP), announced the suspension of aid on the back of repeated interference of some Houthi leaders in their work. “Our greatest challenge does not come from the guns” but instead from “the obstructive and uncooperative role of some of the Houthi leaders in areas under their control,” he said in the statement issued on May 20th.

Women4Yemen Network believe that this statement is an indicator of a larger and more serious problem that needs immediate attention from the UN Envoy’s Office and the international community. The widespread corruption in aid and development projects is enabled by the extensive and systematic crackdown on civil society by the de facto Houthi authorities in Sanaa. This has resulted in the absence of accountability and monitoring.

The diversion of aid is one of many outcomes of the tight grip of the Houthi authorities in the north. Since they took control of the capital of Sanaa in 2014, Houthis have shut down local civil society organizations, created new ones that are loyal to them and implement their agenda, abducted and forcibly disappeared civil society activists, and even intimidated INGO staff. According to local sources, some of the challenges the civil society organizations are facing are:

  1. Difficulty to issue or renew licenses to operate. Some organizations are forced to pay bribes in order to get a license or to look for people in connection with the Houthi group in order to get the license issued.
  2. Difficulty to work in peace building or protection projects. In fact, Houthis forbid the use of the word “peace” in any civil society documents or events.
  3. Freezing of the bank accounts of some civil society organizations.
  4. Shutting down of some of civil society organizations.
  5. Houthis successfully pressure some international organizations to work with Houthi-loyal organizations.
  6. Activists, including women, in peace and humanitarian fields are subjected to arrest and retaliation. Read our report: https://bit.ly/2Wb1hu6 and the Women Solidarity Network report on: #FreeAwfaa campaign https://info861663.wixsite.com/freeawfaa
  7. According to the Washington Post, aid agencies and NGOs have been ordered to hire Houthi representatives and loyalists as part of their local teams.

Women4Yemen Network consider the WFP’s threat to withdraw support to the areas under Houthi control a response that is too little too late. It will also not solve the problem. UN agencies and INGOs need to address the larger problem which is the crackdown on civil space, as that will leave long term negative effects on Yemenis, beyond lack of access to humanitarian assistance. It is undermining the grassroots peace activism essential to support peace processes.

To address this problem, we recommend the following:

  1. The international community should protect and empower the civil society and include it as one of the items of the peace negotiations.
  2. The Houthi group should lift all the restrictions on the civil society organizations.
  3. The Houthi group should provide a license to all organizations, including women-based organizations, with no biases.
  4. The international community should support the UN to resume its work in Yemen as the situation in the country cannot afford to lose support. According to UN agencies, the country is on the verge of a famine. The international community should put pressure on the Houthi group to stop interference in food aid in particular, and in civil society in general.
  5. The international community should work to support the protection of women in light of UN resolution 1325 and professionals working in aid and civil society.
  6. The UN should consider reallocating its headquarters away from the Houthi-controlled capital of Sana’a. This will improve partnership with civil society organizations and allow for accountability and monitoring needed for aid effectiveness.
  7. The UN can harness up-to-date technical measures to provide assistance which can ensure more accountability and monitoring. The aid also should focus more on economic growth, more than relief support. Read our blog: https://bit.ly/2HLGHaZ

Women4Yemen Network

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